NEW DELHI: Russia, keen to move shift funds from Europe after the Ukraine crisis, will offer investments to India for projects and Joint Ventures during the trip of its Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin’s visit to Delhi in third week of June in what will be first high profile engagement between the strategic allies since the anointment of the Modi government.
Rogozin will pick up from where he left during his last trip to India last February and pitch for hydrocarbon exports, stronger defence ties, expansion of nuclear power projects and investments in Indian projects, senior sources in the Russian government told ET. Rogozin, who is expected to meet the PM, External Affairs, Finance and Defence Ministers and National Security Advisor on June 18 will prepare for Modi’s first meeting with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Brazil in July.

Sources indicated that Russia is keen to divert some of its funds from Europe following deterioration in ties between Moscow and European capital in the backdrop on Ukraine crisis. Moscow may route these funds to India that would contribute boosting Indian economy, sources said, adding, this would be major point of engagement with the Modi government that is keen to pursue a robust economic diplomacy. It has been learnt that Putin would propose investments for India during his meeting with Modi in Brazil. Putin will also travel to India later this year for annual summit. Very people are aware that Modi had visited Russia thrice as the Chief Minister.

Russia is also keen to work with India on changing the bilateral investment treaty to encourage and safeguard mutual investments, sources indicated. Besides, energy will be key pillar of partnership with Moscow planning additional nuclear power plants and oil exports to India. There is also a talk of oil pipeline to India from Russia to meet Delhi’s growing energy demands. Russia is looking beyond Europe towards Asian markets for its energy export – the recent Western-Russian standoff is fueling this drive.

Last March Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and the head of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company travelled to India to discuss energy deals. Rosneft offered Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), ten offshore oil and gas blocks. Nine of those blocks were located in the Barents Sea while the remaining one was located in the Black Sea. Rogozin will follow up on Sechin visit, sources said. ONGC is also studying a previous offer from Rosneft to help explore the Magadan 2 and Magadan 3 blocks in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk.